MANILA - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Wednesday denounced President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in the entire Mindanao.
"By declaring martial law in Mindanao, Duterte has gone beyond the threats and theatrics of the past months," the CPP said in a statement.
The communist movement said the public should oppose and demand the immediate termination of martial rule in Mindanao.
"The civil-democratic rights of the people across Mindanao are being curtailed as they are subjected to checkpoints, warrantless arrests, curfews and other restrictions," it said.
The CPP claimed that Duterte's imposition of martial law "was made on the narrow pretext of armed clashes in Marawi City between the AFP and the so-called Maute Group, a bandit group whose leaders have known links with military officials."
"Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao has gone beyond Marawi. It has a much wider target and purpose," it added.
The CPP also said Duterte's declaration that he will be "harsh" is like ordering AFP soldiers to "impose its rule and carry out more abuses with extreme impunity."
"The Filipino people will hold him directly responsible for all the abuses perpetrated by the military and police under his martial rule," the CPP said.
Duterte on Tuesday declared martial law in the entire Mindanao island amid the ongoing clashes between government troops and Maute group terrorists in Marawi City, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.
Duterte on Wednesday assured the public that there would be no abuses in the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.
He, however, said those who would dare to carry out terror and criminal acts would deal with the government’s wrath. “We are the least of your worry but if you confront government - and my orders are [first], to enforce the law. And anyone caught possessing a gun and confronting us with violence, my orders are shoot to kill. I will not hesitate to do it,” he said.
The government peace panel and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are scheduled to resume peace talks in the Netherlands this week.